Dear Modern Masters, I’m sorry I was so apprehensive of you! I know I call myself a scrub and a bad player, but I’m glad I dove in and drafted. Gearing up for GP Las Vegas in just one short week (eep! I have to pack!) I decided to draft Modern Masters to get some familiarity with the cards. I knew going into it that I would be dealing with a lot of powerful cards I knew nothing about. Perfect. But I checked out the spoilers as they were coming out and I tried to cram for the draft on Saturday.

I headed to the shop with my brain stuffed with knowledge. I went for a walk with Lauren and we bought fancy bread from Bedford Cheese Shop because that place rules and she needed bread and we had to talk about a ton of stuff for Dungeons and Dragons. Which was perfect, it kept me from over thinking, obsessing over, and further freaking out about Modern Masters. Why sweat over going two vs. three colors, etc. when I could talk about the Cormanthor Forest and how it influences the Dalelands, am I right?

I finally sat down to a pod with a few friendly faces and we start the draft. My pack one, pick one was Maelstrom Pulse because, as I’ve mentioned before, I love playing green in Magic. But I’m spending so much time just reading the green cards that I miss a few early signals. Halfway through pack one I see another faerie pass me by and I think “huh, faeries seem open.” This is the first time anything like that has really clicked for me, and so I went with it. I scooped up every faerie I could find, and was rewarded with a pack two, pick one Oona, Queen of the Fae. More faeries (and some goblins) rounded out my deck as I scooped up a pack three, pick one Skeletal Vampire. Li took a look at my deck once I was finished drafting and said, “How does this deck lose?” Probably from me piloting it, I thought. As if reading my mind, Li points a fatherly finger at me and says, “If you don’t X-0 with this deck don’t come talk to me.” He immediately rescinded the joke as being too harsh, but I took it as a challenge. (Spoiler: I went and talked to Li). Here’s the deck:

Giaco's Modern Deck

Creatures (15)
Murderous Redcap
Spellstutter Sprite
Faerie Mechanist
Thieving Sprite
Marsh Flitter
Latchkey Faerie
Dreamspoiler Witches
Auntie’s Snitch
Oona, Queen of the Fae
Skeletal Vampire

Artifacts and Spells (8)
Runed Stalactite
Erratic Mutation
Thirst for Knowledge
Drag Down
Executioner’s Capsule

Land (17)
Terramorphic Expanse
Vivid Creek
Vivid Marsh

Round 1 was against Eileen. We often play against each other in sealed tournaments and she’s a very friendly player. She was playing UW group tactics, but it all kind of crumpled to my faerie onslaught. During game one, in desperation and about to die, I cast Erratic Mutation on her 4/4. With a small group watching, I flipped a Faerie Mechanist. I couldn’t believe it! I ended up winning that game soon after. It felt so cheap and so good. I guess that’s what the faeries deck is supposed to feel like. Game two we went to time and drew in rounds (we were both playing pretty grind-y decks), but with my first win I scored to victory in the round.

Round 2 was against a very nice guy who was visiting from Japan. He was playing a pretty potent Gruul build, but I won game one off the back of Auntie’s Snitch and Runed Stalactite. Everything is a goblin! Hooray! Game two he blew me out while I misplayed and waited too long to cast Spellstutter Sprite. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and not get the maximum value off of a card. I learned this the hard way as he pummeled me while I waited for a mini combo. Now, game three was, by far, the most exciting game of magic I’ve ever played. Through a good amount of back-and-forth-ing, he gets me down to one life. He’s at thirteen life. I keep chump block and building a small army with Skeletal Vampire. I’m able to whittle him down to six life. He swings away which I profitably block, flashing in a blocker to chump. Now all his guys are tapped, I attach Bonesplitter and Runed Stalactite to Skeletal Vampire and swing for lethal. I was at one life for five turns. There were multiple points where I thought to myself Am I wasting his time? Should I scoop? No! So, for the first time in my magic career… I went into the finals.

Round 3 James and I split in the finals because three packs of Modern Masters is a lot more than two and not as much less than four (that’s quantum physics-style math, don’t try to wrap your head around it). He blew me out with a mono-black deck, but we were playing for fun, laughing, and not paying super close attention (it was well past midnight at this point and my mind had moved on other things). It felt great to finally be in the winner’s circle where you’re not grinding it out for third/fourth place.

Overall this deck was a ton of fun to play. It was easily the most cohesive and best thought out deck I’d ever built. The Runed Stalactite did a lot of work for me, and I’m hoping to compose a similarly awesome deck in GP Vegas. Hopefully this week I can find some time to squeeze in some sealed practice. I want to go into Sin City with confidence in more than just one archetype. This really has been a recent period of growth and fast progress in my Magic career, and I can’t thank you all enough for riding along with me! See ya next scrub!

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